Biggest Little City

Wind Energy Demonstration Program

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As part of the Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Initiative under the Green Priority, the Reno City Council allocated stimulus funds for the installation of wind turbines on City properties as part of a wind energy demonstration program. Ever since Americans moved west, Northern Nevada’s landscape has been dotted with windmills. The early settlers used windmills on farms and ranches to extract valuable water from the ground and redistribute it where it was needed most. As any resident can tell you, our region is well known for its powerful and consistent wind patterns. In fact, in his book "Roughing It," Mark Twain once wrote,‘a Washoe wind is by no means a trifling matter,' and that is exactly what the wind energy demonstration program aims to prove. While the theoretical potential for wind energy resources is plentiful, there has not been enough data to make accurate real world predictions of our region's true wind energy potential.

In an effort to fill this gap in data, the City installed wind turbines to demonstrate to citizens how the new generation of urban wind turbines compares to the old style wind turbines. Two to three turbines are installed near each other with an anemometer to measure wind speeds and show energy output versus manufacturer listed output. Anemometers are located near the turbines to collect wind speed, wind direction and electrical output data for each site and turbine in order to provide citizens with real world data. This information is displayed on the Green Energy Dashboard. The data will further be used to create a 3-D map of our region showing micro-climate possibilities for what citizens could expect for wind output at their residence or business.

The sites that have been selected are on top of City Hall, on top of the Downtown Parking Gallery, Mira Loma Park and the Stead Wastewater Treatment plant. All system installations have been generously supported by the NV Energy RenewableGenerations rebate program made possible by the Nevada State Legislature and the Public Utilities Commission of Nevada. Citizens and businesses can get more information on these systems by following the previous links. You can track all system production of the City's systems at the Green Energy Dashboard


Proven turbine being installed at Stead.


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